Araujo biding his time

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

It wasn't quite the ballyhooed return to Salt Lake City for which Rafael Araujo had hoped.

But at least the Raptors rookie centre was able to leave with a smile on his face as the visitors stunned the host Jazz last night in a 104-95 win.

Araujo, who attended Brigham Young University, had few friends and former coaches in attendance at the Delta Center.

The native of Brazil tried to keep the reunion low-key, especially because he has been a bit player. When people pay attention to Araujo, he wants that attention to be warranted.

He wishes he were getting more court time, but he said he fully understands what is going on and that he trusts the judgments of Raptors coach Sam Mitchell.

"I'll be honest with you, I want to play," Araujo said. "But that's the coach's decision. He knows best, we've been winning (the Raptors improved to 4-1 with the win) and I support him 100%. It's all about the team.

"So I'm on the bench here, watching and waiting for an opportunity. It's a long season. I'm not frustrated," said Araujo, who received a mix of cheers and boos when he entered the game late in the second quarter

While Araujo contributed with one rebound and one foul in four minutes, he probably is not being completely candid when it comes to his playing time.

From the time he first picked up a basketball, Araujo always has been one of the best players on his team.

But now Araujo finds himself in the NBA, the best basketball league in the world.

Araujo was taken with the eighth-overall pick last June and the Raptors believed he was ready for the NBA. It since has become apparent that Araujo isn't quite ready, and that realization is what prompted him to take a humble approach when he saw his friends and former coaches last night.


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